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State Trooper at Hospital

Source: Ryan Hedrick / WIBC

INDIANAPOLIS — State Trooper Azariah Keith is expected to recover after being hit by a vehicle on Saturday night. The incident occurred while Keith was helping someone with a tire change on I-65. Police say the person who was driving the car that hit Keith was drunk at the time of the incident.

Sergeant John Perrine held an emotional press conference at the hospital discussing the incident.

“A driver passed the trooper who was blocking the left lane, moved back into the left lane just as Trooper Keith was finishing (changing the tire),” said Perrine. “And Trooper Keith was loading his equipment back into the trunk, and he was struck while outside his vehicle by the car; his car was also struck.”

Armaandeep Singh was arrested for intoxicated driving causing serious bodily injury. He was taken to a local hospital and then to the Marion County Jail. Blood test results are pending after field sobriety testing.

“Our detectives are at the hospital with the suspect, just trying to piece this together,” said Perrine. “Right now, we are just praying for Trooper Keith and his family. We are certainly thankful that he is going to survive.”

Keith was hit by a car while standing on the left shoulder with his back to traffic.

“He wasn’t in the road,” said Perrine. “As this vehicle came around, they went off the road and onto the shoulder where Trooper Keith was. The car struck the concrete wall, which likely reduced some of its speed right before it struck Trooper Keith and his car.”

Trooper Keith is a one-year veteran of the Indiana State Police; he’s married with two young kids. His wife and kids were with him at Eskenazi Hospital late Saturday night.

Perrine said another trooper with Keith was on the scene, blocking the left lane. The car went around that trooper and returned to the left lane to hit Keith.

“He was outside of his car trying to get that person on their way, and he did get that person on their way; this person had just pulled away prior to impact,” said Perrine. “We are thankful that another trooper was there, but that trooper had to witness this. He could immediately not only help but get help as far as medics and other officers as well.”

Last year, State Trooper Aaron Smith was killed in a vehicle crash that happened as a result of a police pursuit in Hendricks County.

“We feel the pain, but we are going to go out there still and serve this community, but we will be sad about this for sure,” added Perrine.